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REUTERS/Max Rossi

Fidel Escobar and Amir Murillo Reflect on World Cup Debut Against Belgium

New York Red Bulls defenders Fidel Escobar and Michael Amir Murillo experienced a moment on Monday that they've always dreamt about, playing in a World Cup. The dream was fulfilled Monday morning, when Panama squared off against Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

Both defenders went the full 90, with Escobar starting at center back, and Murillo starting at right back. Although Panama lost 3-0, Murillo talked about how he felt the team played a good game, despite the loss.

"I believe that for moments we played very well in the first half," Murillo said. "We did a great job against one of the best players in the world [Hazard], so I think that on that part it went well. Independent of the result, I think that each of my teammates gave their best, and it was a great debut for us."

Escobar also talked about his impressions after the match.

"It’s a bitter feeling because we played a great game," Escobar said. "In the first half we gave our all. It was a game where they [Belgium] had to impose themselves over us, we did our system, our scheme, and to be honest, in the second half it was a great goal [by Mertens] that some of my teammates couldn’t react to, but it's something we'll have to fix during the week."

The next challenge for Panama will come on June 24, at 8 AM/ET, against an England team that defeated Tunisia 2-1 on Monday, after Captain Harry Kane headed home his second goal of the match in stoppage time. 

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